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U.S. Sends a Message and Cracks Down on Foreign Business Bribes

Unfortunately, in so many foreign nations, bribes are an accepted, and often necessary part of doing business. But the Justice Department isn’t accepting the business as usual. The Washington Post Carrie Johnson takes a snapshot of the latest effort to crackdown on the practice.

Pocketing Some Cash

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities want companies to know that the cost of paying bribes to win overseas contracts is growing steeper by the day.

Long a priority of the FBI and the Justice Department, efforts to police corrupt business payments have intensified in recent weeks, with multimillion-dollar corporate settlements and coordinated arrests of individual executives accused of attempting to grease the skids.

On Friday, BAE Systems, the world’s second-largest defense contractor, agreed to pay $400 million to resolve decade-old allegations that it misled the Defense and State departments about its efforts to comply with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The law bars companies from bribing government officials to win lucrative contracts and other favorable treatment.

The BAE deal came weeks after the FBI unveiled its first FCPA sting operation, which culminated in the arrests of nearly two dozen businessmen employed in the defense and law enforcement equipment industry.

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